Every day I reflect on my efforts to support my students to take ownership of their learning. This is a dual process of me letting go and them taking ownership. Recently I decided that I also want to celebrate successes in their learning more explicitly- even small ones. Some of my students become anxious and put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well. They can be harsh judges and I want them to notice positive developments in their learning.
Having read Sam’s recent blog post on mindfuness , it dawned on me that it was time to introduce another two layers to our reflections on our learning. We have been using the following three questions to guide our reflections in our bubble catcher journal: What are we doing? Why are we doing it? and How am I doing? From there my students would set goals for the following week and develop a plan of action for achieving their goals.
The challenge for several students has been in developing a relevant plan of action to help them achieve their goal. I have also recently read an article on positive education (“Positive education: positive pyschology and classroom interventions” by Martin E. P. Seligman and others) and decided to combine a strategy Sam uses with one mentioned in the article.
Sam’s: What skills will you need to achieve your goal? What attitudes will you need to demonstrate to achieve your goal?
Seligman et al’s: What Went Well?
A new strategy for reflecting…I began by instructing my students to close their eyes and picture a recent event in their lives, in which they were involved, which had gone well. I asked them to notice what they were doing and how they were feeling during the event.
We then shared their thinking and I scribed. We were able to sort their responses under skills used during the event and attitudes demonstrated during the event. They then had another go with this strategy.
From here I asked them to set a goal for themselves. I then asked them to identify which skills they would need to use and which attitudes they would need to demonstrate in order to achieve their goal.
Without prompting a few students commented that this would be really helpful. We then talked more about ownership of learning and how identifying the skills and attitudes we will need, could help us to achieve our goals including that of taking ownership of our learning.
I am excited and hopefully they are too.